The Constitution Party’s Presidential Options

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As always, when major party candidates state announcing their Presidential campaigns, attention at IPR turns to minor party presidential candidates and campaigns. The Constitution Party does not generally attract too many candidates for President, but this year has attracted a larger crop of candidates. Some have announced, some have all-but-announced, and others are less likely to run, but all are considering running for President and doing so with the Constitution Party.

Rev. Scott Copeland, who served three two-year terms on the executive committee of the Texas Southern Baptist Convention, and is the author of Your 2012 Middle Class President. This article suggests he’s attending the Idaho CP’s convention.

Chad Koppie, a member of the Illinois Kane County Regional Board of Schools. He has also previously served as a township trustee. Although he recent ran for U.S. Senate as a Constitution Party candidate, he did not make the ballot.

Owen Shuler, CEO of Shuler Capital Corp., a Georgia investment company with interests in oil, gas, transportation infrastructure, real estate, and specialized technologies integration across several sectors. Schuler has spoken to several Constitution Party meetings or conventions, indicating a certain level of seriousness.

Darrell Castle, a longtime member of the Constitution Party and leader in the party, Darrell Castle is an attorney in Tennessee who served as the party’s Vice-Presidential candidate in 2008.

Dennis Michael Lynch, a documentary film maker, and conservative commentator from New York. His announcement that he was running can be watched here. He has expressed some level of interest in the Constitution Party, but has not committed to the party. His facebook page has over 100,000 fans.

Rep. Steve Stockman,  Former Congressman from Texas and well-known conservative advocate. Stockman has previously endorsed Chuck Baldwin and written articles for the party’s website, as well as conducting candidate training at national meetings. He is well known and respected within the party and is definitely connected to it. There is reportedly a growing movement by Constitution Party supporters and outsiders to draft Steve Stockman to run for President.

Ultimately, at least a couple of these candidates will not actually be present at the National Convention, when this decision is made. But right now all of them are being considered by would-be delegates and supporters of the Constitution Party.

84 thoughts on “The Constitution Party’s Presidential Options

  1. Joe Wendt

    If Dennis Michael Lynch were nominated, I can see him revitalizing the Constitution Party. Younger, more charismatic leadership would definitely help them out.

  2. Trent Hill Post author

    Joe–I think his foreign policy positions and adherence to GOP-style lines are going to hurt him, sort of like Alan Keyes’ run in 2008. However, as a media man, he might study his audience and learn what they want to hear. If he does this effectively, it will mean downplaying foreign policy and other issues of disagreement in order to emphasize immigration and other areas of agreement. If he does that and Stockman doesn’t run, he could very well win the thing. Even if Stockman runs, should he play his cards right he might end up VP. That would set him up for 2020.

  3. Joe Wendt

    I think given the dud of a campaign Virgil Goode provided to the Constitution Party, they could over look Lynch’s failings on foreign policy in order to reboot the Constitution Party.

  4. langa

    Generally speaking, I like Darrell Castle. While I don’t agree with him on anywhere near all the issues, he seems to be a deeper and more serious thinker than most of the CP folks. I’d like to see him get the nomination, but I doubt he will. They’ll probably opt for a “sexier” choice.

  5. Trent Hill Post author

    I dont expect Virgil to run again. While he is still involved with the CP, I think he’s wasted his cache for the most part. As a VP he’d be great. As a candidate for State or local office, if he could be convinced, that’d be amazing, but I dont think he’s running for President.

  6. Dave

    I think the only good option for the Constitution Party is Roy Moore. Doubt he’s interested though.

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    Roy Moore is serving as Chief Justice in Alabama and is about 10 years removed from the height of his popularity. He is now basically a trivial character on the national stage and only an important one in Alabama. With that said, the CP would take him into their party in an absolute heartbeat.

  8. Andy

    “Trent Hill Post author

    April 13, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I dont expect Virgil to run again. While he is still involved with the CP, I think he’s wasted his cache for the most part. As a VP he’d be great. As a candidate for State or local office, if he could be convinced, that’d be amazing, but I dont think he’s running for President.”

    He was a dreadful Presidential candidate. What makes you think that he’d be any better as a candidate for Vice President or anything else?

  9. Trent Hill Post author

    Andy–Goode would have broken a few records if the CP was back on the ballot in CA and PA.

    He wasnt a great candidate, I agree. But, in Virginia he has a name that is extremely popular and in his 5th District he is still INCREDIBLY well known and liked. If he ran for any office in that District, including US Congress, he’d be the odds-on favorite.

  10. Andy

    “Trent Hill Post author

    April 14, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Andy–Goode would have broken a few records if the CP was back on the ballot in CA and PA.”

    Part of being a good candidate is being able to get on the ballot. Virgil Goode only made the ballot in 26 states. This showed a lack of support, a lack of proper planning, and a lack of fundraising ability.

    Other states where he was not on the ballot included Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts, to name some of the most populated ones.

    Keep in mind that Virgil’s only real competition for minor party and independent votes came from Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and also keep in mind that in past elections, Constitution Party candidates for President had to compete against not only the Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates, but also against Ralph Nader’s independent runs, and Pat Buchannan and Ross Perot’s runs.

    Oh yeah, and there is also Virgil’s lack of ethics, not only as a Congressman (where he did several things that violated the Constitution Party’s platform), but also his having ripped off petition circulators who gathered signatures for him in Alabama, New York, and Vermont. I find it to be rather disturbing the way Trent brushes this under the rug, as if ripping off the working man does not matter.

    “He wasnt a great candidate, I agree. But, in Virginia he has a name that is extremely popular and in his 5th District he is still INCREDIBLY well known and liked. If he ran for any office in that District, including US Congress, he’d be the odds-on favorite.”

    Yeah, Virgil Goode is so popular in Virginia that Gary Johnson whooped his ass in the number of votes received in Virgil’s home state.

    I drove through Virginia not too long before the 2012 election and I saw a surprising number of Gary Johnson signs from the road. I did not see any Virgil Goode signs.

  11. Matt Cholko

    I’m from a different part of the state than Mr. Goode; the very populous northern part. He may well be popular in the 5th district. But, outside of there, he’s about one step above a nobody.

  12. Andy

    “Matt Cholko

    April 14, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I’m from a different part of the state than Mr. Goode; the very populous northern part. He may well be popular in the 5th district. But, outside of there, he’s about one step above a nobody.”

    I drove into Virginia from Tennessee, and I saw quite few Gary Johnson signs, but I did not see any Virgil Goode signs.

    Also, when I petitioned to place Libertarian Party candidate Rob Sarvis on the ballot for Governor of Virginia in 2013 I worked in the western, and south western part of the state, hitting places like Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Blacksburg, and Radford, and I ran into a lot of people (relatively speaking) who talked about Gary Johnson. I only ran into one person who mentioned having signed a petition to place Virgil Goode on the ballot.

  13. Cody Quirk

    “However, as a media man, he might study his audience and learn what they want to hear. If he does this effectively, it will mean downplaying foreign policy and other issues of disagreement in order to emphasize immigration and other areas of agreement. If he does that and Stockman doesn’t run, he could very well win the thing.”

    Yet the question is- does he understand the baggage and religious drama that comes with the CP and it’s leadership; and if so, would he still be willing to try to become the CP’s presidential candidate, or at least seek their support for a ‘independent’ candidacy, despite the CP’s history?

    I’ve visited DML’s Facebook page, and I barely see anything CP-related on there, especially in the comment threads, fyi.

  14. Andy Craig

    Virgil Goode only got 2,575 votes in the 5th district (0.71%), barely more than Johnson’s 2,310 votes (0.64%). Overall in Virginia, Johnson beat Goode by two-and-a-half to one. If Goode is “incredibly popular’ in the 5th and/or Virginia, it certainly didn’t show in his 2012 results.

    Home state results for former elected officials for comparison:
    Rep. Paul 1988 0.56% TX
    Rep. Barr 2008 0.73% GA
    Rep. McKinney 2008: was not on the ballot in GA
    Rep. Goode 2012: 0.33% VA

    Gov. Johnson 2012: 3.55% NM

    Seems like an ex-Representative might be worth something for a home-state boost (all three of those results minus McKinney are slightly better than their national average), but if such a boost does exist it’s definitely not that big. Not nearly as obvious as what Johnson got in NM as an ex-Governor.

    The name-ID for ex-Congressmen, just isn’t that great. Most people don’t even know who their current one is, and if there is a bump for ex-Reps running third-party for President, it doesn’t extend far beyond that single district.

  15. DAN

    I think constitutional populist Tom Lineaweaver (2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial write-in candidate) has a chance to get their endorsement and nomination. He also running under a minor third-party that he founded called the “Freedom USA Party”. http://ballotpedia.org/Tom_Lineaweaver

  16. Dave

    The reason I suggested Moore was that I think it’s highly likely that the GOP will be largely silent on same sex marriage in this election. They realize the issue is against them, and they’re not going to spend more than the minimal time on denouncing it. But while the issue is more or less settled to the majority of Americans, there’s a significant minority who still strongly oppose it. I think if the Constitution party picked Moore, they could go all in as it were and run a campaign based on strong social conservatism.

  17. Trent Hill Post author

    Castle has no name recognition, very little money, and is thoroughly uninspiring. How would he raise money, get events organized, get on the ballot, etc?

    Stockman would bring more money, volunteers, and name recognition than Castle–and he about as “good” for the CP on the issues.

  18. Cody Quirk

    “I think if the Constitution party picked Moore, they could go all in as it were and run a campaign based on strong social conservatism.”

    That is, if Moore expressed any interest at all.
    His best chance to run as a CP candidate for prez. was back in 2004 when the controversy over the ten commandments monument in the courthouse was still fresh and social conservatism was a dominating factor in politics- the CP was wooing him very bad back then, but he missed his chance- even if they would’ve handed the nomination to him on a silver platter if he had jumped in.

    Plus while he likely would have gotten a good amount of votes in 2004- today however, with people having forgotten about the ten commandments flash point and with social conservatism in serious decline, even if he ran he would be lucky to earn more votes then Chuck Baldwin did in 2008.

    And if he had any intention of running next year though, he would already be acting like Mike Huckabee (especially on the gay marriage issue) right now, but he isn’t.

  19. Cody Quirk

    “Castle has no name recognition, very little money, and is thoroughly uninspiring. How would he raise money, get events organized, get on the ballot, etc?”

    Agreed, even if he is considered a celebrity in the CP.

    “Stockman would bring more money, volunteers, and name recognition than Castle–and he about as “good” for the CP on the issues.”

    Maybe so, but I wonder if he won’t end up becoming another Virgil Goode for the CP- while he has views that mirror very close to the CP… Minus the extremity of the religion factor; the practicality of his campaign approaches and presenting his message to a public audience is open to question.

    Would he also be willing to accept and deal with the CP’s baggage as well?

  20. redphillips

    Dennis Michael Lynch’s foreign policy statement on his website has some verbiage that could possibly be read as feinting toward noninterventionism, but then he tracks off into American Exceptionalism and promoting American values blah, blah, blah… and we all know where that leads. But I did find some of the wording interesting. Most “farther” right or more conservative by degree types just thump their chest even harder and are clueless about the existence of a conservative faction that is otherwise inclined. I may be reading too much into his statement, but I wouldn’t be surprised if DML or whoever wrote the statement is aware of our existence and was attempting to walk a line with the statement.

    http://www.dml2016.com/issues_dml/2014/10/14/foreign-policy.html

    For whatever reason, DML has a fan club on Facebook that magnifies his actual level of name recognition and support.

  21. Pingback: Potential Candidates for the Constitution Party’s Presidential Nomination | Conservative Heritage Times

  22. paulie

    Castle has no name recognition, very little money, and is thoroughly uninspiring. How would he raise money, get events organized, get on the ballot, etc?

    Stockman would bring more money, volunteers, and name recognition than Castle–and he about as “good” for the CP on the issues.

    You keep making the same mistake.

    What does Stockman have that Goode didn’t? Think!

    The CP did better with Phillips, Peroutka and Baldwin than with Goode. Paul ’88 and Barr were no breakouts for the LP. We did just as well with non-crossovers like Badnarik and Browne. The Greens did better with Stein than with McKinney. See a pattern yet?

  23. Trent Hill Post author

    The question is not “What does Stockman have that Goode didnt?”

    Rather, it’s “What does Stockman have that Castle doesn’t?” The answer is: a lot. Almost everything of importance when it comes to being a candidate.

    The CP’s woes with Goode were largely ballot access related. Plug in PA and CA’s ballot access, which Peroutka and Phillips had, and you’ve got a very different picture.

    Virgil Goode: 122,000+
    Chuck Baldwin: 199,000+ (without CA, with Ron Paul endorsement)
    Michael Peroutka: 144,000+ (California accounts for 26k+, Penn for 6k+)
    Howard Phillips: 98,000 (Against Buchanan), 184,000 (with Texas), 43,000 (Beginning of Party)

    So, Goode was the 4th of 6th in terms of outcomes. Add in what Peroutka got in CA and PA (his closest performer) and you come out to 155k+, putting him in 3rd of 6. Ballot Access played a huge role.

    With that said, I’m not saying Goode was a good candidate. He wasn’t. But he was a hell of a lot better than Darrel Castle would’ve been–which likely would’ve meant the first sub-100k performance by the CP since 2000.

    Stockman’s major drawback is that the CP doesnt have a group in Texas right now and therefore doesnt really have a way to put him on the ballot.

  24. Trent Hill Post author

    DML’s facebook following is very impressive. If he becomes Stockman’s VP, it’ll represent a huge boost to the party.

  25. Andy Craig

    I think it’s obviously true that pretty much anybody else but Goode would have made 270+EV ballot access in 2012. Maybe not much more than that, but they would have been over that threshold if he hadn’t screwed it up in a couples of states. If he had that, he would have got a lot more coverage alongside Johnson and Stein as one of the alternatives with “nationwide” could-theoretically-win ballot access. There’s no really good reason why he shouldn’t have, and if I was somebody who cared about the future of the C.P. I’d be fairly pissed about that failure. Though as somebody who loathes the C.P., I can just sit back and chuckle at it. 😉

    I think a reasonable minimal expectation for a third-party nominating an ex-Congressman, is that they will do particularly well in their home state, at least 1%+. Yet they never do, and not because it isn’t correct, certeris paribus, that a ex-Representative is a better nominee than a candidate who’s never held office. On paper, that’s true. But in practice, it just isn’t that big a boost, and the ceteris aren’t always paribus. A lousy candidate with a poorly-run campaign that doesn’t motivate party members, isn’t going to be saved by having a title they share with ~1500 other Americans that gives them *maybe* 15% name-ID in a single state.

    Having been a Congressman is better than nothing in the presidential resume game, particularly if it’s an ex-Congressman who made some kind of a national name for himself in the House or was in a high-profile leadership position. But even then, it’s not that much better than nothing. Only one President- Lincoln- was elected without having either been a general or held a higher political office than US Rep. And that was obviously under fairly unique circumstances, to say the least.

  26. Andy

    Trent once again overlooked the fact that Virgil Goode had the easiest competition of any Constitution Party candidate so far being that he did not have anyone like Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, or Ralph Nader to compete against for “third party” or independent votes and attention. Goode had a weak vote total in the weakest field in which a Constitution Party candidate for President has ever ran.

    And once again, Goode multiple ballot access failures showed the he had little support and a poorly run campaign.

  27. redphillips

    I generally agree with paulie that being a former Rep is no guarantee of improved outcome. But Goode had a tricky past – Democrat then Republican before becoming CP – so I don’t think he was as well known or regarded on the “far” right as he might otherwise have been. When he was still a Republican, I don’t think he would have been one who would necessarily come to mind when thinking of most conservative Congressmen. Stockman, however, has a history stretching back to his first term in ’95 of being among the “farthest” right Congressmen, so I think he has some goodwill on the right that Goode didn’t have. That said, he needs to explain his bizarre half-hearted primary challenge.

  28. Trent Hill

    This is where we part ways in our analysis. I believe the Ballot Access failures were not the Presidential campaigns fault, but having more to do with the overall weakness of the party in 2012. California certainly had nothing to do with Goode. Pennsylvania didnt seem to either. Alaska’s lower vote total was a reflection of the AIP being mad at the CP for choosing Baldwin over Keyes. Other, lesser states, probably did.

    If the CP can ever bring the AIP in CA and the AIP in Alaska back into the fold, they’ll be at full strength. But, it seems unlikely at this point.

  29. redphillips

    Trent, I wasn’t crazy about Goode, but I do think I can be somewhat impartial in my analysis. I thought his campaign was poorly run, even by lower CP expectations. I remember thinking at the time that his announcement speech was seriously amateur hour. I remember remarking about this to someone we both know at the time, and he agreed with me. If I recall correctly, he announced outdoors in NYC (why?) (or some other big city) and only had a few supporters there so the visual on the video was really bad. Campaigning 101 should have guided them to make the announcement where they knew they could get a crowd and then have a venue that makes what crowd there was look big.

  30. Trent Hill

    Red–I fully agree. My argument wasn’t that he was a good campaigner, or even that he wasn’t the worst we’ve had (he wasnt), but that he wasn’t worse than the other options at convention. Comparing Goode to Baldwin is immaterial because Baldwin and Goode werent both running. The same goes for comparing Stockman to Goode. Both being elected officials doesn’t really mean much–they are the same.

  31. paulie

    Goode is at least personally wealthy, and paid for a big chunk of his own ballot access (or in some cases promised to). Stockman, from what I can piece together, is probably not wealthy. Therefore I would expect him to most likely to be on in fewer states than Goode.

    His fundraising ability? He did fewer terms in Congress than Goode, longer ago. He has a bit of a name among movement conservatives, but most of them will be afraid of accidentally handing the Democrats the election, or even if they support Stockman they will be unlikely to write big checks for a presidential campaign that has less chance of winning than a grand prize in a megamillions lottery.

    Castle, as a long standing activist and past candidate, understands that his role as a presidential candidate would be to promote party membership and activism, long term party infrastructure, and downticket candidates. Ex-congress member crossovers are usually more after things like reviving their fading fame/relevance, expressing (often temporary) disgust with how much their (former) establishment party sells out and compromises, and/or delusional about how much infrastructure the new alt party can bring to their aid and all the barriers they would face as an alt party presidential candidate.

    BTW, I saw Castle speak in Birmingham. Baldwin was supposed to speak but he was sick, so he cancelled his tour (or at least that leg of it) and let Castle take it over for him. He’s not a bad speaker, actually. I’ve seen better, but I’ve also seen worse.

  32. NewFederalist

    I have no dog in this fight but I agree with Paulie’s analysis. In 2016 with the “don’t hand this election to Hillary” paranoia in full swing it makes more sense to me to go with a tried and true party activist whose interest is in party building (or at least holding on to whatever infrastructure is left) than to go with another “name” nominee. I like the fact that Castle is a solid CPer. He may not be flashy or eloquent but he represents the party’s positions well IMO.

  33. Trent Hill

    If Castle wins the nomination, the party will be on even fewer ballots in 2016 than in 2012, it will raise even less money, get less attention, and end with fewer votes.

    Stockman’s profile compared to Castle’s is not even fair–one is an attorney with a podcast, the other is a man who has been elected to Congress several times. Neither is going to excel in fundraising, but I’d bet Stockman will raise much more and he has the ability to bring people on board with more money, while Castle does not.It’s that simple.

  34. Andy Craig

    “the party will be on even fewer ballots in 2016 than in 2012, it will raise even less money, get less attention, and end with fewer votes.”

    That’s arguably going to be true no matter who they nominate, including Stockman. Particularly if his ridiculous Senate campaign is any indication of how he’d run a Presidential campaign, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.

    His record of Congressional elections isn’t exactly stellar either. He wasn’t elected “several times”- he was elected twice out of six attempts for US House (two of which he didn’t even make it out of the primary). He was never re-elected to a consecutive term, and lost as an incumbent in 1996. When he won his second term in 2012, he only got 20% and 2nd place in the first round of the primary, but then won the run-off in a district where it was tantamount to election. In 2006 he failed to get on the ballot when he tried to run as an independent (which should be another red flag for the C.P.)

    It’s about as lackluster an electoral record as you can probably find for any Representative who was technically elected more than once.

  35. Andy Craig

    I do agree, Stockman probably *could* run a higher-profile campaign than Castle. Whether or not he *would* is not so clear.

  36. paulie

    Virgil Goode was elected to Congress a bunch of times. So was Cynthia McKinney, and Bob Barr, and Ron Paul before 1988. Did they raise substantially more money or get a lot more votes than the Constitution, Green and Libertarian candidates right before and after them? Not really. Paul did a bit better than Bergland, but not really too much different from Marrou. Barr raised about the same amount as Badnarik and Johnson, and was in the same vote ballpark as every LP presidential campaign from 1984 to 2008 – between 0.3 and 0.5%. Paul, Barr and all the non-ex-congressmen the LP nominated between them, plus Bergland before — no substantial difference in votes or money, only minor bumps (Browne actually raised more money). McKinney didn’t boost the Greens, Goode didn’t boost the CP. Trent, what makes you think an ex-Congressman is such a huge deal? The record proves otherwise, for multiple alt parties, different ideologies, different years… I understand the thinking that an ex-Congressman is some kind of big deal, but real world results show otherwise.

  37. paulie

    Neither is going to excel in fundraising, but I’d bet Stockman will raise much more and he has the ability to bring people on board with more money, while Castle does not.It’s that simple.

    If that’s the case, can you explain why that did not happen with any of the ex-US Reps I mentioned above vis a vis the non-ex-US Reps the alt parties they defected to ran before and after them?

  38. Trent Hill Post author

    Again, I have never suggested an ex-Congressman was a “Big Deal”. I’ve not even suggested an Ex-Congressman is better than a non-Ex Congressman. I’ve suggested this particular Ex-Congressman is better than Darrel Castle.

  39. Jed Ziggler

    In 2012 the Green Party passed up a well-known figure (Roseanne) for a dedicated activist (Jill Stein). It was a very wise decision. Don’t go for the name, it’ll bite you in the ass 90% of the time. Leave the big names to the big parties, unless you find one who is willing to commit to the party & stick around for a while.

  40. NewFederalist

    I know this is not a totally fair comparison BUT… Harry Browne was a “big name” only in the world of alternative financial advisors but was one of the best LP nominees ever. I believe when alternative parties go for a “name” at the sacrifice of principle in order to get a few more votes (potentially) it usually doesn’t work out. I believe Darrell Castle represents the CP as well as Browne represented the LP. I can’t imagine an LP convention picking a Bob Barr over a Harry Browne. I know the CP picked Virgil Goode over a last minute Castle effort 4 years ago. I think they might want to reconsider that mistake. With the “don’t waste your vote” BS coupled with “anybody but Hillary” and a probable GOP nominee that will pass off as more conservative than either McCain or Romney, the CP should stick with its principles more than ever. Just my $0.02 worth.

  41. Joshua Katz

    If a party is less successful with a ‘name’ than with a dedicated activist (assuming that ‘name’ is also a good campaigner who understands politics) that is a sign of weakness. It indicates that a large proportion of that party’s votes come from its base, most likely its members. As far as I can tell, all smaller parties are in this position right now, which indicates that they would be ill-advised to go name-hunting, unless the big name also energizes their own membership, i.e. is with them on substantially everything and willing to commit to the party. However, running someone with political experience sends a message to the public, even if it doesn’t result in votes, that the party is serious and trying to make itself credible – it shows the party understands that one cannot be President without knowing the art of governance.

    As far as Congresscritters are concerned, having been one indicates knowledge of campaigning and the art of governance, but there are, to my mind, two ‘classes’ of Congresscritter. There’s what I call a ‘national Congresscritter’ and a ‘local Congresscritter.’ The national ones gain the national stage, either through holding leadership positions, or just getting a lot of coverage for controversial stands. For Senators, filibustering works well. A local Congresscritter, which is most of them, only have name ID in-state, and probably in-district. The same holds true for Governors. Only political junkies know the names of more than a few Governors.

  42. Jed Ziggler

    “running someone with political experience sends a message to the public, even if it doesn’t result in votes, that the party is serious and trying to make itself credible – it shows the party understands that one cannot be President without knowing the art of governance.”

    This is actually a fair point. Not many people if any have been president without holding elective office. I just don’t know that it’s worthwhile to nominate a qualified candidate when experience shows it hasn’t worked that well. Gary Johnson is about the only recent exception.

    For what it’s worth, in 2008 I had no idea Cynthia McKinney (who I had heard of) was the Green Party nominee until I looked at the final vote totals. And I was somebody who actually did pay attention to third party politics, but I had no idea the Greens even had a candidate that year, let alone that it was McKinney. Very poorly run campaign. So that leads me to wonder if, when one of these parties nominates a “name”, that maybe they don’t campaign as hard for their boy or girl because they think they’ll get votes & media attention on name alone? Just a thought.

  43. Joshua Katz

    I suspect there may be some of that, but also some of the base not always being pleased with big names, and not coming out to campaign for that reason.

    On the qualified candidate – I’m talking about the impression and image created, not vote totals. Someone who doesn’t vote for you might be thinking “what a bunch of nuts” or “they’re decent but…” I’d rather have the latter.

  44. Cody Quirk

    I wonder what is Don Grundmann’s, or even Riley Hood’s take on this matter? Does either one favor Stockman, Castle, or even DML?

    …Or is religion and a person’s sexual orientation the only thing they care about?

  45. paulie

    In 2012 the Green Party passed up a well-known figure (Roseanne) for a dedicated activist (Jill Stein). It was a very wise decision. Don’t go for the name, it’ll bite you in the ass 90% of the time. Leave the big names to the big parties, unless you find one who is willing to commit to the party & stick around for a while.

    Good point.

    I believe when alternative parties go for a “name” at the sacrifice of principle in order to get a few more votes (potentially) it usually doesn’t work out. I believe Darrell Castle represents the CP as well as Browne represented the LP. I can’t imagine an LP convention picking a Bob Barr over a Harry Browne. I know the CP picked Virgil Goode over a last minute Castle effort 4 years ago. I think they might want to reconsider that mistake. With the “don’t waste your vote” BS coupled with “anybody but Hillary” and a probable GOP nominee that will pass off as more conservative than either McCain or Romney, the CP should stick with its principles more than ever.

    Exactly.

  46. Trent Hill

    Stockman is not a deviation from the CP’s principles, that’s the comparison people don’t get. It isnt like Barr or Paul for the LP because the CP and Stockman are very close in ideology.

    The biggest part Stockman will have to convince people of is that he is not just using the party–he is there to stay and there to build the party.

  47. langa

    Stockman is not a deviation from the CP’s principles, that’s the comparison people don’t get. It isnt like Barr or Paul for the LP because the CP and Stockman are very close in ideology.

    Ron Paul’s views are virtually identical to the LP platform on at least 95% of the issues. Abortion and immigration are the only significant areas of disagreement.

  48. NewFederalist

    “The biggest part Stockman will have to convince people of is that he is not just using the party–he is there to stay and there to build the party.”

    And how can he do that?

  49. Trent Hill

    Langa–my point wasnt that Paul wasnt like the LP (I think he is), it’s that many people argued he wasnt (indeed, he had a strong opponent at the Convention and I’m sure Tom Knapp will be along any minute to declare him a non-libertarian with all of his Editorial Authority).

    NewFed–Good question. I’d answer it privately, if you have my email or Facebook.

  50. Andy

    langa, Ron Paul voted to INCREASE visas for foreign workers to enter the USA, and he also voted against the border fence.

    The Libertarian Party does not have an official stance on abortion of which I am aware beyond opposition to tax payer funding for it, as I recall the platform saying acknowledging that there are Libertarians with good faith views on both sides of the issue.

    I’m pretty sure that Ron Paul won the LP Presidential nomination on the first ballot in 1988. I think he was a better candidate than runner up Russell Means would have been.

  51. paulie

    The LP’s platform plank on abortion has always been pro-choice, and still is, saying that government at all levels should be kept out of women’s individual decisions about whether to abort or not. More recently (much later than when Ron Paul ran as a LP candidate) an aside was added to the plank that says we acknowledge that people can have good faith disagreements on this issue. IMO that’s an unnecessary and confusing part of the plank, because that is always true on all issues, and leads some people to incorrectly read that the LP does not have an official pro-choice position. But with or without the confusing language, the most basic and most important part of the planks is that it is an individual decision, not a government decision.

    That planks was completely unambiguous for most of the party’s history, including when Ron Paul ran as an LP candidate. LP members got a concession from Ron Paul to not campaign on that issue before many agree to vote to nominate him. He kept his worded and avoided the issue during his LP campaign.

  52. langa

    …Ron Paul voted to INCREASE visas for foreign workers to enter the USA, and he also voted against the border fence.

    Yes, I know Ron Paul is not as anti-immigration as some people claim, but his position is still not as pro-immigration as the official LP position. I just looked at the LP platform, and they have changed the immigration plank a little bit, but back when I first joined the party, in the mid-’90s, it was basically calling for open borders, and I would bet it was the same in ’88, when he ran.

  53. langa

    …an aside was added to the plank that says we acknowledge that people can have good faith disagreements on this issue. IMO that’s an unnecessary and confusing part of the plank, because that is always true on all issues, and leads some people to incorrectly read that the LP does not have an official pro-choice position.

    I like that caveat, and I don’t see it as confusing. Rather, I see it as an acknowledgement of the fact that abortion is one of the few issues where there’s not really a “libertarian position” per se, since there’s not a consensus among libertarians as to how the NAP should be applied to it.

  54. Trent Hill Post author

    Doesn’t mean he’s out at all. Keyes was Republican before he ran CP and indeed he planned it this way–he wanted to fundraise and get media as a Republican for when he made the switch to CP.

  55. Cody Quirk

    Two things.

    1. Pulling an Alan Keyes won’t really help his reputation, especially if he repeats what you had witnessed at the CP convention back in 2008.
    The worst example of changing your political affiliation at the last minute is Robby Wells, whom switched political parties so many times when attempting to run for president that he can never be taken seriously again.

    2. If he was interested in running for the CP at a future date, he would already be involving himself with them on a frequent basis and mentioning/advertising them often on his website and facebook page. He doesn’t.

  56. Pingback: Twin Falls Times-News Article on Scott Copeland’s Campaign Swing Through Idaho | Independent Political Report

  57. Sean Scallon

    DML’s video “Ride to D.C.” really doesn’t show the police in a very good light. Maybe he can go to West Baltimore for his next documentary.

    This is an interesting disucssion as to whether a “celebrity” i.e. former elected office holder or well-known persons are good for non-major parties or not as candidates for high elected office. I think the answer is they have the potential to help if they are willing to help the party build itself (Gary Johnson for example). If not, they can be a neutral to a net minus the way Bob Barr, Jesse Ventura and Cynthia McKinney were to their respective parties. The ballot line cannot be just given away to a candidate with a brand name. Party activists have to be reassured that said candidate is genuinely interested in being a part of an alternative political movement and not be an opportunist. A sense such opportunism with Stockman and I doubt if he’ll do much better (and perhaps even worse) than Goode.

    Having endorsed Goode publicly its shocking how poorly he and the party did in retrospect. Yes not being on the California and Pennsylvania ballots hurt a lot but then, if he was on those ballots, he might have done as well as Mike Peroutka. I had thought a party riven by sectarian difference could use a candidate to give it a Buchananite sheen and make it more attractive to conservatives who don’t get themselves caught up in re-fighting the 30 Years War, the way the party was orginally envisioned as Pat’s electoral vehicles when Howard Phillips founded it in 1992. Obviously that didn’t happen.

    Whoever the CP candidate is, if they’re going to make any impact next year, they have to find a way to unite non-major party elements on the Right or at least acknowledge the leadership of the CP on this question if unwilling to give up their websites. Finding a few issues of common ground will be essential to reviving right wing activism on the non-major party scene, otherwise these parties will die in short order by the middle of the next decade as it leaderships and activitsts die off. Being a unity candidate for seuch elements is just as important as how many votes the CP nominee gets.

  58. Cody Quirk

    Likely not going to happen with the CP.

    BTW, DML has officially dropped out of the presidential race.

  59. J.R.Myers

    07/04/2015, J.R.Myers announces his Presidential bid.

    J.R. is in his third term as Chairman of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP). He was the ACP nominee for Alaska Governor in 2014. He also serves as President of the Alaska
    Counseling Association, and works as a Behavioral Health Consultant.

    “On this 239th Fourth of July celebration in the year of Our LORD 2015, I announce my intentions to secure both the American Independent Party (AIP) of California and the
    national Constitution Party (CP) nominations for President of the United States. My campaign will address many issues to include ballot access in the various states and
    Presidential Debate inclusion. We must acknowledge and defend our Judeo-Christian heritage, our Constitution and the Rule of Law. We must foster individual moral
    responsibility in the exercise of our freedoms. We must refrain from foreign conflicts not our own, yet vigorously defend our borders from those who seek our harm. We must
    exercise our legitimate sovereignty, including over our Arctic lands. Our nation is in trouble as never before. I ask for your prayers and support in this endeavor. G-d Bless America!”

    J.R.Myers for President 2016
    POB 2086
    Soldotna, AK 99669
    907-690-5200
    https://www.facebook.com/J.R.MyersforPresident2016
    jr4gov.com

  60. J.R.Myers

    I don’t know yet it will depend on funds and timing. I will probably be the only Alaskan candidate. I think it will be easier to campaign for POTUS from Soldotna than it was to run for Governor from Haines. I was told by the media that I was the first and only person to run a statewide campaign from Haines. Perhaps I will also be the first POTUS candidate from Alaska!

  61. Cody Quirk

    Best of luck to you, however you’re going to need all the luck you can get to convince the California AIP to support your candidacy, as they do share substantial differences with the CP on foreign policy.

    However, since I heard Steve Stockman has rejected running as the CP candidate for president, your chances with the CP have certainly improved now.

  62. J.RJ.R.Myers

    I have been in contact with the AIP Chairman. We have had some very positive discussions. In any event, I will have a big task ahead of me, though I am hopeful.

  63. Andy Craig

    “Perhaps I will also be the first POTUS candidate from Alaska!”

    Andre Marrou.

  64. paulie

    I think Marrou moved out of Alaska before 1992. Gravel also moved out of Alaska before he ran for president.

    Regarding the CP’s choices, I stand by my assessment that Castle is really not as bad as Trent thinks. I saw Castle speak in Birmingham, and he was mot amazing, but not terrible. He was more active on that campaign than Baldwin was. The CP should stop chasing fool’s gold.

  65. NewFederalist

    As I recall Andre Marrou was living in Nevada when he became the nominee.

  66. paulie

    As I recall Andre Marrou was living in Nevada when he became the nominee.

    I believe you are correct. He also lived in Massachusetts at some point around that time. Last I heard, he has been living in Texas.

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